Nursing Aide

What Does a Nursing Aide Do?
Nursing aides are responsible for providing long-term care to patients that require special treatment. They work with patients in nursing homes, mental hospitals, and with those who are disabled, mentally ill, or injured. Many nursing aides help their patients with daily routine tasks, such as bathing, eating, and changing clothes. They typically are on call at all times, responding quickly to patients who need assistance as well as monitoring patients so that they will not cause harm to themselves or others. Nursing aides often work directly with the patients at all times as opposed to other nursing positions that require a great deal of administrative work. Out of all the nursing occupations in a nursing care facility, nursing aides have the most contact with patients. This contact is necessary due to the duties that nursing aides must perform. In addition to providing general help to patients, nursing aides keep a close eye on the patient’s health and well-being. They may do this by taking regular readings of the patient’s blood pressure, temperature, and heart rate, or they may do this through general observation.

What Is the Employment and Salary Outlook for a Nursing Aide?
Health care is one of the most prosperous and steadily growing fields in the job industry today. This is due to the fact that no matter what the economic climate is or what political issues are being debated, the need for health care professionals remains at a high. The complexity of human health, the inevitability of aging and the unpredictability of injury and disease all contribute to health care’s longevity. This is true in all aspects of health care, including nursing assistance. As hospitals become more pressured to discharge patients as soon as their recovery is complete, nursing care facilities will certainly see an increase in patients as those patients who need longer care than hospitals can provide make their way to nursing care facilities instead. In addition, a large portion of the population is reaching their elder years, making nursing assistance a necessity. Employment opportunities for nursing aides are expected to grow 19 percent through 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nursing aides earn an average hourly wage of $11.46, according to latest information available from the Bureau.

How Can I Become a Nursing Aide?
A high school diploma is the minimum education needed to become a nursing aide in many cases. However, with more competition in the job market, aspiring nursing aides would be more successful in finding employment if they earned an associate degree in nursing or another health care field. An associate degree would take about two years to obtain. During this time, students take courses in nutrition, anatomy, communication, and other classes that will help them to gain a deeper understanding of patient care. Most job-specific skills will be taught on the job. Licensure is generally only required for nursing aides who wish to work in nursing care facilities. To gain licensure, the nursing aides must successfully complete an evaluation as well as a minimum of 75 hours of training, according to the Bureau. After completing the certification program, the nursing aides will officially be deemed certified nurse assistants (CNAs).